Status: 01/14/2022 1:05 p.m. Lower Saxony’s Ministry of Health recommends avoiding PCR tests when it comes to ending quarantine or isolation prematurely. From Saturday, a negative quick test will suffice. Both test methods, the certified rapid test and the PCR test, are permitted under the planned quarantine regulation. Only employees in hospitals and in care must continue to prove a negative PCR test. According to the ministry, among other things, it is about keeping society running, a spokesman said. If everyone had to wait for the PCR test result, they would be in quarantine for at least an extra day. The result of the quick test, on the other hand, is available after a quarter of an hour. Further information Home antigen tests are designed to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The result is already available after 15 minutes. more
Are rapid antigen tests sufficient?
How reliably rapid antigen tests detect an infection – especially with the omicron variant – has been the subject of heated debate for weeks. Michael Heins, head of the laboratory at the Osnabrück Clinic and representative of the Lower Saxony regional group in the professional association of laboratory doctors, says the difficult thing is the quality of the tests. It’s interesting how big the differences are. The test results would also be influenced by temperatures, for example. He estimates that results from an outdoor container test center may be less reliable because the test material is colder.
Laboratories should be relieved
According to the Ministry of Health, free testing with a rapid test is intended to relieve the burden on the laboratories. According to the Association of Accredited Laboratories in Medicine (ALM), the laboratories are currently running at around 65 percent capacity. The Ministry of Health says that if it turns out that the demand for PCR tests is greater than the supply, priority must be given. According to Heins, how many samples can be examined also depends on the personnel, equipment, space and material. AUDIO: (107) Risk and Hope (102 min)
Delivery bottlenecks in the laboratories
According to him, there are regular supply slumps and defects in pipette tips, swabs and test tubes, for example. The Osnabrück Clinic has built up such a large stock that it can continue for at least two months. Heins sees the laboratories in the country basically at the limit. Should a giant wave come now, the laboratories could temporarily do more through overtime and extra work. But that doesn’t go on forever.
Quarantine without a test ends after ten days
From Saturday, relaxed quarantine rules should apply in Lower Saxony in accordance with the decisions of the federal-state conference. Accordingly, isolation and quarantine usually end after ten days. After seven days you can also be free tested with both test methods. So far, a strict 14-day quarantine has applied to contact persons of a person infected with Omikron without the possibility of free testing. On Friday, the Federal Council also approved the changed quarantine rules, thus creating the legal framework. It is also planned that boosted contact persons of corona infected people will no longer have to go into quarantine. Further information More Sunday work – if necessary – and up to 60 working hours per week: criticism comes from the Marburger Bund. (01/11/2022) More Further information The RKI reports 6,457 new infections. Further values such as the hospitalization rate can be found here. more No quarantine for those who have been boosted, shorter times for everyone: the countries can now let the changes come into force. More corona news in the live ticker. more Corona in Lower Saxony – Current reports This topic in the program:
NDR 1 Lower Saxony | Current | 01/14/2022 | 09:00 a.m
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